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Alliance blames Lonmin for illegal strike

The ANC’s Gwede Mantashe says Lonmin management is to blame for the ongoing strike.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe addressing a media conference at Luthuli House on 12 June, 2011. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The tripartite alliance on Friday said Lonmin management brought the ongoing illegal strike at the Marikana mine on itself.

In a statement released on Friday, the alliance said the mining giant tried to benefit from firing the miners for a previous illegal strike.

The mine then rehired workers with lower benefits, the statement read.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said this tactic backfired.

“They thought it would translate into union rivalry and then cause conflict amongst the workers. They used that opportunity to lower the standards and gets profits out of it.”

A total of 44 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the week-long violence in early August.

Meanwhile, start-up union the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said it had no reason to sign Lonmin's peace pact.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said the accord failed to address salary hikes.

Workers continue to demand a monthly salary of R12,500 a month.

RELIEF AID FOR MARIKANA WORKERS

The Gift of the Givers is preparing to deliver a large supply of relief aid to striking mineworkers and their families on Saturday.

Employees have been on a wage strike for more than three weeks and have reportedly started borrowing money from loan sharks to feed their families.

Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman said they will be distributing food parcels, high energy supplements and blankets.

“This aid will help the workers calm down, get settled and take the anger away so issues can be dealt with on a more rational basis.”

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)

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